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Not finishing a book

July 21, 2010

I always feel odd when I decide not to finish a book. Mostly, I feel guilty. Maybe a little rebellious.

I’ve decided not to finish Of Bees and Mist. I feel sheepish about this. Especially because, on the surface, it’s exactly the sort of book I often like.

 A bit supernatural, a bit spooky, a sense of folklore. Neil Gaiman’s written several in this vein, and I devour them. Books infused with a strong sense of cultural identity usually appeal to me too- other reviews of Setiawan’s debut mention the author’s use of myths from his Indonesian and Chinese background. Honestly, I’m not far enough into the book to see the multicultural pastiche influence… mostly, it seems Gothic, with strange and deliberately whimsical touches. The mood setting seems… off, in a way I’m having trouble articulating. And it’s making me think of reading something else.

I would be curious to hear from other readers– what makes you give up on a book? Do you go back to it? I’m willing to decide this is a right-book-wrong-time scenario, and keep it on my shelf for a bit. Because that’s happened before. I tend to read by inexplicable whim.

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